My Single-Slide Entrepreneurship Talk

A few months ago I gave a talk to the SUNY Albany Entrepreneurship class that my good friend teaches. We had been discussing previous talks, some of which went better than others. The best ones, we agreed, were interactive and conversational. I had the idea to cut my entire presentation down to one slide, the slide that I typically reserve for questions at the end. So, somewhat nervously, I got up in front of a class of 45 students, briefly introduced myself and then put… Continue reading


We Still Need to Teach Basic Computer Skills in the Age of Chromebooks and Peak Smartphone

I was lucky that both my high school and college were well equipped to train an aspiring engineer. From the time I was a 13 year old freshman I had exposure to all sorts of equipment that most people don’t, from welding to lathes to CNC machines and a wide array of computers and electrical components. My classmates and I could apply the theory that we learned in the classroom, and we graduated as better engineers because of it. But, this technology wasn’t available to… Continue reading


The End Of Paying Your Dues?

Although I didn’t realize it at the time, when I left college in 2004 we were right in the middle of a shift in how a “career” was defined. There was still this prevailing wisdom that you would find an entry level job at a good company, slowly work your way up over the course of decades from junior level to senior level to management. It would take a long time, but in return you got the stability of a steady paycheck, health care, and… Continue reading


The Next Generation

Last week was the final class for the spring semester of Professor Wales’ Entrepreneurship class at SUNY Albany. I made it in to class four times throughout the semester and was able to work closely with the students as they took their venture from idea to reality. In the final class, they presented the results of their ventures as short videos. For many students, this was their presentation in their final class before graduation. After coming out of this last class all I could think… Continue reading


“It’s Too Bad You’re Not Using Your Degree”

Last week’s post about college reminded me of something that used to happen to me quite frequently in the few years after I left my job. After explaining our business, people would comment “it’s too bad you’re not using your degree.” This always got under my skin. I understand where they’re coming from (e-commerce != engineering), but I always felt like they were hinting at some failure on my part, or that I had wasted my time and money going to college. I always though… Continue reading


If I Were 18 Today Would I Still Go To College?

College is one of my favorite topics. It’s true that education correlates strongly with earnings. On average, the further you go in school, the more you’ll make. But that really means nothing to the individual. We all know people with no college who are massively successful, and everyone I think knows a few people with master’s degrees who can’t get their act together. I also don’t necessarily assume that this trend will continue on into the future, although we won’t know for sure until it’s… Continue reading


Back in the Classroom!

It’s been a few years since I co-taught web venturing at James Madison University. My good friend was a professor there. I had given a few talks to his classes locally when he taught at Skidmore, and so he invited me down to give the same talk at JMU and eventually co-teach the class (mostly virtually via Skype with a few days spent in Virginia). Unfortunately the following semester I had to bail for personal reasons, and then subsequent semesters we could never quite sync… Continue reading


Web Venturing Class Mid-Semester Update

I spent last week down in Harrisonburg, VA at James Madison University, giving my “entrepreneurship as a career choice” talk to two classes and also working with students from the web venturing class that I’m co-teaching. My original plan was to get down to JMU early in the semester to meet all of the students. I thought it would be good to interact face-to-face to form those personal relationships that are hard over Skype and email. Unfortunately, that pesky hurricane happened and I was forced… Continue reading


Pumped to be Co-Teaching a Web Venturing Class!

After my most recent talk at James Madison University last fall, Professor Wales asked me to assist him in teaching a course called “Web Venturing” this coming Fall. What an opportunity!  I think I answered “yes” before he finished his sentence. Prof. Wales spends his summers back in NY so we’ve been able to meet all summer long and work on our syllabus. We had the last meeting yesterday where we reviewed the finer points of the lectures that I’ll be giving. In a little… Continue reading


The Intersection of Technology, Communication, and Culture at Pure Adapt

Yesterday I gave an abbreviated version of my “Entrepreneurship as a Career Choice” talk to the students at James Madison University. We then had a discussion about the pros and cons of starting your own business out of college, and then a brief Q&A. What made it different than the past talks was that I gave it virtually over Skype. I wasn’t sure how it would go, but it went pretty well. The webcam on their end was good enough for me to almost feel… Continue reading